I tested positive for herpes type 1 during a routine STD test without having any symptoms. What precautions do I take?

Q. What are the precautions to be taken by a herpes type 1 positive individual with no symptoms?

Answered by
Dr. Seikhoo Bishnui
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 09, 2022 and last reviewed on: Jan 13, 2023

Hello doctor,

I am a 30-year-old male with no symptoms, but a herpes type 1 test came out positive during a routine STD test two weeks back. Does oral herpes that is dormant put me at higher risk for other STDs or health issues in the future? Especially if I plan to have multiple partners for a while.

  1. How will the positive test change my everyday life, and what precautions should be taken?
  2. Would the normal aging process declining the natural body’s immunity affect my body’s ability to fight herpes type 1 in the future? If so, how should I be prepared for it?
  3. How can I differentiate between an outbreak and a normal ulcer?
  4. In case of an outbreak, how to treat, and usually how long does it take to recover?
  5. Can I prevent the outbreak from ever happening or at least reduce the chances of it? What preventive measures can I take so that an outbreak never happens?


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read your query and can understand your concern.

Dormant oral herpes has nothing to do with the risk of other STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) or any other issue.

  1. The oral herpes virus is different from the genital herpes virus.
  2. If the IgM antibody is positive, the infection is recent, and you have to take treatment for this. Tablet Acyclovir can be taken but consult a dermatologist and take medications with their consent.
  3. If IgM is negative and IgG is positive, infection was there in the past, but you will remain positive for IgG for life. Therefore, there is a risk that you might develop herpes lesions in the future. So in the future, if you have any lesions on the penis, then avoid sexual intercourse at that time. Always use protection during intercourse to prevent transmission to your partners.
  4. Reduced immunity might result in a relapse of lesions. Excessive stress, too, can precipitate the lesions.
  5. In case of an outbreak of lesions, take proper treatment. Usually, treatment is given for one to two weeks. Recovery is seen in around two weeks.
  6. Have a good diet, maintain health, and avoid unprotected high-risk sex.

I hope this helps.

Thank you and take care.

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